Book nearly confiscated as "inappropriate" ...

My husband pointed me to this
journal entry today; apparently his coworker's friend was stopped for a routine (?) bag search on the ferry from Hoboken, NJ to New York City, and was told that a book inside his bag would need to be confiscated because it was "inappropriate." *boggle*

I think I'll go donate to the ACLU....


"He gets all pissy at me and says, "Don't you understand this is for your safety?""

I don't believe that conversation took place for one minute. I don't believe the person doing the searches would say something like that. Its just not believable.

I'll admit to being a bit skeptical after first reading the entry (though not *nearly* as skeptical as I was when I was pointed to a different livejournal entry a month or two ago, but that's another story). However, while I don't know the author, I worked with a few of his friends a few years back (a period of time I like to euphemistically call one of "Life's Learning Experiences" - but that's yet *another* story), several of whom have pointed to his entry - and I have no reason to disbelieve them. Obviously my previous experiences and coworkers are not going to sway other skeptics; I mention them merely to explain why I'm inclined to give the benefit of the doubt in this case. :)

That said, I tend to agree with those folks here and elsewhere who have said that even if the story itself is either embellished or outright false, it's plausible. I have to imagine that properly training the numbers of security and "peace keeping" folks - particularly prior to an event like the RNC - is no easy task, and that mistakes are made, misunderstandings are not infrequent, etc. ...

I'm rather curious to see what, if anything, comes of the issue, as I've also read that the NY Waterways folks are trying to get in touch with the author of the journal entry in order to get more details about the incident.

The language issue is a sensitive subject, I can picture a border guard going off the handle about it, whether I agree with it or not. But to try and confiscate a book? A lame book at that? No. Although I hear the Canadian border patrol has gotten into the habit of conficating anything involving porn, particulary gay porn. Those crazy Canucks. Don't they know they live in a free country? Oh sorry, wrong country.

The guy is posting on his live journal about someone wanting to take his role-playing book away from him -- I'd find correct spelling more suspicious.

The misspellings also add to my belief in the improbability of that actually happening. Grammar adds to veracity in my book. I doubt that anyone has time to check the titles or cover art of books when screening passengers for any type of transport. I also find it odd that someone would have the ACLU phone numbers handy and call them for such a problem before asking to speak with a supervisor.

With all the bodice rippers the grandmotherly types read these days I'm sure the cover of the bloggers book offended no one.

When I was young and on a field trip to Marine Land Canada as a guest of a friend's elementary school in upstate NY we crossed the border in Buffalo/Fort Erie over the Peace Bridge. The US Customs officers border the bus (this is in the 70's) and asked us where we were from one kid said Mars or something like that. We sat on the bus waiting for this kids parents to bring his paperwork for several hours. Customs has a sense of humor, but they have a job to do too.

Don't be a jerk to people doing their jobs.

I really doubt that anyone tried to take his book, but it made a fun story.

I don't believe that conversation took place for one minute.

It's certainly plausible to me. This dolt strikes me as the kind of idiot who would ban Where's Waldo as pornography or paper bags as offensive to God Almighty.

As for the story about smart ass remarks at Customs by nbruce, all security agents are taught to take these things seriously. Joking or even conversing seriously about bombs in Canadian airports is an automatic one thousand dollar fine. Some of those agents do go way overboard, though. Idjit probably figured that somebody would take offense with the book and attack the guy.

Oh, it's completely believable. Ever since I saw a US Border guard yell at a woman for not speaking english when coming back from ALA in Toronto last year, I can believe anything of TSA/Homeland Security. If I recall correctly, his exact words were, "What business do you have coming into America if you can't speak english?" I had never been so embarrassed to be an American.

We had security checks on our bus going into Canada and leaving last week. We were strongly warned by our guide not to say anything we thought might be smart or amusing--they've heard it all--and they might just delay the entire bus load. So we were well behaved.

Although I'll agree that it does seem hard to believe that one of our Homeland security guards wasted his or her time, and showed his or her lack of sophistication ;-) in bothering about this fellow's book, it could have happened.

Just to clear here, the "He" who was referred to as becoming "all pissy" is the journal writer's picturesque way of describing what he felt - not what the Homeland security guard said. The quote attributed to the guard was pretty tame - though, rather stupid.

In a world with 6 billion people in it I'll admit that anything is plausible but the arguements being made for plausibility are basically that the guy doing the search was an idiot. If this story turned out to be true it would be used as another 'government out to get you' story. At the very least I have no doubt this will become an urban legend.

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